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Difference between soaps and Primetime dramas

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I know primetime dramas have better production values and they are sexy and elegant but I think the thing that seperates them apart from soaps is that with Primetime dramas you don't get invested/connected to the characters like you do watching a soap opera. Primetime shows run for about 24 episodes a season whereas soaps run all year and take things slower where you get invested in the characters and actually care about what the characters do. I just don't feel that way with Primetime. What do you all think? What seperates Primetime and Soaps to you?

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Posted · Report post

Who says you don't get connected with the characters on a primetime drama like you do a daytime soap? The way writers write some new characters lately I can connect more to character sin 24 epis on primetime.

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I don't mean new characters. I mean characters who have been on the show awhile. Like todays scenes of John/Kristen on DAYS. They were awesome & so well written!

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Posted · Report post

I know primetime dramas have better production values and they are sexy and elegant but I think the thing that seperates them apart from soaps is that with Primetime dramas you don't get invested/connected to the characters like you do watching a soap opera. Primetime shows run for about 24 episodes a season whereas soaps run all year and take things slower where you get invested in the characters and actually care about what the characters do.

JR Ewing. Seriously. Just... JR Ewing. He's one of the best characters to ever come out of a primetime soap, and he was wonderful to watch, even in his very old age. I adored watching him when I was just a child, and I sobbed throughout the episode in which JR was laid to rest. To say that people don't get invested in primetime characters because they aren't on as much is simlpy inaccurate.

I've liked a lot of different characters on daytime and primetime, but the only daytime characters I've loved as much as JR were Erica Kane and David Hayward.

For me the difference in primetime and daytime is pacing and cast size. If you have up to 5 hours a week, 50 weeks a year to tell stories, you can take your time with it. I see that as a blessing and a curse to be honest - if you love the story it's great that it takes a long time to tell. If you dislike it, well, that's an awful lot of fast-forwarding you're going to be doing. If you're one of those people who watched a show for just a handful of characters, there may be days or weeks when you don't watch at all because nothing on there interests you.

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Posted · Report post

I didn't say people didn't get connected. I said you don't have as much time to.

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When breaking it down, Primetime dramas are soaps. The difference is they have overpaid stars (sometimes), better sets, cameras, etc. I mean they all have continuing story arcs and characters that soaps have. They use the same tropes as soaps do too. It always irks me when stars on primetime TV throw shade at soaps when most of them are on a soap. Walking Dead . . . Zombie soap. Nashville . . . Soap with country music. Grey's Anatomy . . . soap with slutty doctors. Scandal . . . soap with slutty politicians. Star Trek . . . Soap in space. tongue.png I can go on. . . .

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Posted · Report post

Having more older characters, bigger families, more community, several generations. The longer history, the ability to go into greater depth and explore character more over 5 days a week.

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One big difference is that daytime soaps last for decades while primetime shows usually get cancelled after a few years...

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One big difference is that daytime soaps last for decades while primetime shows usually get cancelled after a few years...

I was getting ready to say the difference is between the fans. I think Daytime fans are more tollerant when shows go down-hill because all soaps regardless have had low points either in ratings or storytelling. I think primetime fans jump the ship to early and demand to much of the writers.

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Primetime soaps usually have lots of plotholes (even as they emphasize plot over character), and put style over substance and jump around, so I don't think fans are more tolerant in daytime. If anything I think fans are more tolerant in primetime because there is not that depth of passion from having watched for so many years.. Daytime soap fan boards are filled with people nitpicking on episodes and calling for people to be fired 75% of the time, while that is not so much the case with primetime. Many primetime writers fail when they come to daytime because they're not used to having to come up with so much story every week, and really following the characters and digging and exploring the ties of their canvases. They can just do some big plot thing every week and have some twists in primetime. Primetime soaps are largely disposable because with the exception of Dallas being revived, they are cancelled when their run ends and that's that. Daytime soap stories create an imprint on characters that still reverberate decades later.

Edited by jfung79

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Posted · Report post

I think, despite using soap opera tropes, primetime soaps still prescribe to the major differences between daytime and primetime--they *show* instead of *tell*--it's much more visuals based and much less theatrical.

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I think, despite using soap opera tropes, primetime soaps still prescribe to the major differences between daytime and primetime--they *show* instead of *tell*--it's much more visuals based and much less theatrical.

Sorry, what's the difference between Show and Tell? I thought daytime "Show's" in the sense that they are not usually on the nose. They Show us character weakness, whereas, in prime time the stories "tell" us the character weakness.

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Basically if there was a car crash on a show on primetime they would show it, on daytime they would discuss it.

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Basically if there was a car crash on a show on primetime they would show it, on daytime they would discuss it.

ok.

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Show versus tell.. also can be the opposite. A daytime soap can show us weeks worth of someone struggling with a situation, while a prime time show glosses over the same suffering just telling us it happened during the time that it was off the air for the summer for example.

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